Weekly Wrap Freelance & Creative News

Freelancer sues Trey Songz. Court rules on CockyGate. Editors to quit over Junot Diaz...AND MORE!!

Freelance Photographer Suing Trey Songz

Freelance photographer Andrew Potter and a Detroit police sergeant filed a federal lawsuit against Trey Songz, aka Tremaine Neverson, alleging  Songz lost his temper at a concert and injured them.

Apparently, Trey Songz got really mad because his mic was cut off at the end of the night.  Potter claims Songz threw a mic stand that hit him in the head, and the sergeant claims Songz punched him in the face and he can never work as a police officer again.

In a criminal case related to this incident, WXYZ abc7 says Songz pled guilty to two counts of disturbing the peace.

Court Settles CockyGate

A federal court ruled that authors can still use the word “cocky” in their book titles, although author Faleena Hopkins trademarked the word and tried to keep it for herself.

Hopkins has a series of self-published romance novels with “cocky” in the titles. After she received the trademark registration, she had the audacity to send letters to other authors requesting that they stop using the word in their titles and change them.

She also, applied for a preliminary injunction and a temporary restraining order to prevent Tara Crescent from publishing a collection of stories called Cocktales: The Cocky Collective.

After finding that some authors did feel compelled to change their book titles, The Author’s Guild and Romance Writers of America joined forces and got lawyers to bring Hopkins back down to Earth where you can’t own common English words.

According to Publishing Perspectives, a judge informed her that her case lacks merit, her trademark is weak, and there’s no evidence to suggest that readers will confuse other writers’ books with hers.

Hopefully, this was a publicity stunt for Hopkins. Surely, she didn’t really think she ruled “cocky.”


3 Boston Review Editors To Quit

Three poetry editors from The Boston Review announced plan to quit after  the executives decided to keep Junot Diaz as fiction editor.  Diaz has been accused by multiple women of verbal abuse and sexual harassment.

The Boston Review’s executive editors acknowledged the departing editors’ contribution but says they believe they made the right decision. They pointed to the “absence of an independent public investigation” and  said their findings did not reveal a pattern or any justification for severing their relationship with Díaz, reported Publisher’s Weekly.

Timothy Donnelly, BK Fischer, and Stefania Heim plan to leave July 1.

New York’s Freelance Market is Booming

Over half a million people in the New York City region are classified as specialized professional freelancers.

Harris Silic of staffing agency Artisan and Mike McDerment, CEO and co-founder of FreshBooks project growth and discuss the trend.

 Govt. Say Freelancing is Declining

Contrary to a lot of other data, the U.S. Department of Labor says the freelance economy has shrunk. Let the feds tell it, 6.9% of the workforce were independent contractors in 2017 compared to 7.4% in 2005. And the figures show there were fewer on-call workers last year too.

According to CBS, the fact the government only asked about a person’s primary job and only captured data from a limited period of time may help explain the discrepancies between their data and private industry numbers.

Long-Form Video Coming to Instagram

Instagram is planning to launch a space for longer-form video content that’s geared toward YouTube-like creators sources told TechCrunch.

Initially, creators won’t be paid, but Instagram is planning to eventually allow users to earn money. And, when the capability launches, there will be a swipe-up feature where creators can add a link to drive traffic to their websites, stores or event ticketing.

When the feature launches, it will also allow average users to upload videos longer than the current 60-second limit.

The move is supposed to be Instagram’s effort to compete with YouTube and Snapchat Discover.

Newseum Honored 18 Journalists Killed

On Monday, the Newseum in Washington DC honored 18 journalists killed on the job in 2017. Their names will be added to the Journalists Memorial.

Once that addition is made, the memorial will display 2,323 reporters, photographers, broadcasters and news executives from around the world, dating back to 1837.

In total, it’s reported that 46 journalists were killed on the job in 2017.

 Urbex Photographer Killed

Urbex photographer Rebecca Bunting was killed Saturday in Philadelphia after she was swept away by flood waters.

She was in a storm drain with her boyfriend, when a sudden rush of water came and swept them both into the creek. Her boyfriend was able to make it out of the water but Bunting’s body was found approximately a mile downstream the next day. Police believe she was in the storm drain taking pictures, reported Fstoppers.

If you’re wondering, Urbex is short for urban exploration.

Egyptian Court Gives Freelancer 10 Years

A military court in Egypt sentenced Ismail Alexandrani, a freelance journalist, to 10 years in prison for spreading fake new and joining an outlawed group, which wasn’t named, according to Arab News.

The problem stems from Alexandrani’s coverage of the Sinai insurgency. Arab News says Egyptian authorities have jailed several journalists as part of crackdown on dissent, and have passed vague laws about disseminating “false news.”

The verdict can be appealed.

Journalist Kidnapped in Pakistan

Gul Bukhari, a journalist with dual Pakistani-British nationality, was reportedly abducted in Lahore on Tuesday and kept for several hours before being released.

She was on her way to a television studio to record a show when trucks stopped the car she was in and masked men took her.

BBC says a colleague reported seeing men in army uniforms at the site, and it’s widely believe the military is responsible. Bukhari has openly criticized the military, and this incident is widely viewed as an effort to silence critics ahead of the general election.

Fast Company Unionizes

Members of the editorial, photo and social staff at Fast Company  unionized with the Writers Guild of America East. Among the things the now-unionized workers want is to “make sure our freelance colleagues are correctly classified and receiving the benefits to which they are entitled.”

What I want is to know what type of benefits freelancers are entitled to at Fast Company. If you have the answer, please do tell.

News Wearing People Out

Almost 70% of Americans say the news is wearing them out, Pew Research reported.

Republicans are more fatigued than Democrats, and whites are more fatigued than blacks and Hispanics.

The stats also reveal that the people who are not avid watchers report being more burnt out on the news than those who follow it regularly.

Ottawa County Parks Require Photography Permit

Know before you go that parks in Ottawa County, MI now require commercial photographers and videographers to obtain a permit.

But don’t expect to get one this summer. They will not start accepting applications and issuing permits until Fall 2018.

This policy was put in place because photographers have recently set up make-shift studios in parks and blocked trails, says Wood TV 8.

And if you’re wondering if you’re “commercial,” it refers to those selling produced images, using images for advertisement, or those being paid for their services while on park property.

Schedule It

Now – October 30

Kranner Art Museum in Champaign, IL is hosting the Capturing Landscape exhibit featuring black-and-white landscape and cityscape images captured by modern photographers.

They include Berenice Abbott, Wynn Bullock, Harry Callahan, Imogen Cunningham, Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander, Art Sinsabaugh, Andy Warhol and Edward Weston.

Related events include Capturing American Landscapes with Phillip Kalantzis-Cope on Jul 12 and Capturing Landscapes with Larry Kanfer on Aug. 2.

Admission and events are free.

June 9- August

Florida’s Authors Academy is offering workshops on a wide range of topics. They are hosted by published authors and publishing experts.

Workshops are held every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at Murder on the Beach bookstore in Delray Beach. It’s $25 per workshop. Interested? Learn more.

June 23

Photographer Kevin Fleming will host a workshop in Lewes, DE where he’ll teach photographers with “some experience” how to improve portraits, landscapes, wildlife, action and aerial shots. He’ll improve your knowledge of the camera and lens and cover post-production practices.

The workshop is from 10 am to 5 pm. It costs $150. Here’s more info.

And that is your Weekly Wrap folks! You are now excused to attend happy hours–Yes, plural.

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